"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire." - St. Catherine of Siena

Homeboy Industries, started by Fr. Gregory Boyle in 1988 is an outreach, service-centered non-profit, set up to help gang members get their life on track. Homeboy, now alongside Homegirl Cafe which serves the Homeboy signature baked goods, assists in legal counsel, education (GED classes), career placement, tatto removal, and jobs. Boyle's mission, and the history of Homeboy has been outlined in his New York Times best-selling book "Tattoos on the Heart".

I had heard about Homeboy and Fr. 'G', as the 'homies' call him throughout his book, and in real life, but it wasn't until the kiddos at Camino Nuevo High school were approved, and assigned to read 'Tattoos', that i discovered how much of a fan I am.

There are missions that work, and those that don't. The common theme amongst those that do NOT is they fail at embracing what they do well, and end up taking on a 'greater' mission to do more than they can take on. This is only natural, as altruistic people and groups tend to want to give and give and give, without reasonable expectations of capacities. Homeboy started small, and grew naturally through - what I believe to be - the Holy Spirit, which is so evident at the facility, and in its growth. If you haven't clicked on the Homeboy link, you should and take note, no matter your convictions, or beliefs. The place simply works, albeit a bit of chaos and many struggles along the way. Helping hundreds of gang members get their life on track, is becoming more and more natural for Homeboy, as several have gone off to college, graduated, and started families; leaving the streets and gang-life behind. Truly amazing.

The reason I am so taken by Homeboy, Fr. G and the homies, is that Fr. Boyle has embraced God's will, alongside his own vision to do exactly what he was 'meant' to do; setting the world on fire in the process. We should seek the same in our lives, and never underestimate the power of compassion for those who we fear, or assume wouldn't help us in return.


a quick, rediscovered passion

Today, while at the second of my two jobs, 5th of my 7 activities (volunteer, or otherwise) I discovered I had not really dug into Shakespeare, for a long time. And when I did, it was similar to the process before plunging in a cold pool; toes outstretched to unsuccessfully gauge the temperature, before shuttering at the acknowledgment and uncertainty before ultimately hesitating...and then the final leap.

Once in, and treading the words and over-complicated sentences began to establish familiarity. As I talked through one line, then a second...and then an entire passage, I began to realize that I couldn't only do it, and well, but I enjoyed it!

The Tragedy of Othello, the second of Shakespeare's legendary tragedies is the avenue for this newfound, or perhaps; rediscovery into the words of the 17th century master. I've constantly discovered that truth is often found through narrative, rather than by hypothetical discussion or consideration. For years I've bought Shakespeare's work in paperback, commentaries about the plays, and generally held it in high esteem, even from my love of the movie "Renaissance Man," which I watched a lot as a kid.

So, I guess I love Shakespeare and always have. Heck, I even visited his birthplace, where he lived in London, the Globe and his grave in Stratford-upon-Avon, during my time in England. Therefore, it makes sense I should discover, or rediscover a love in the halls of a high school, where I have come to pursue that which I should have long ago.

After all, "to thine own self be true..."

blogger templates | Make Money Online